Do you think dealer markups on the new Bronco Raptor are too high? In 1979, a nice 2-door 4×4 like the Ford Bronco would have set you back from about $8,000 with a few options. However, we found one for sale at $249,900, 30 times more. So how come you’re paying Lamborghini money for a 44-year-old utility vehicle? Well, it’s one of those no-expense-spared restomods with plenty of upgrades, including a modern Coyote 5.0-liter V8.
The price of this bad boy is absolutely shocking, and if it sells, it’s going to be a market record, with the previous most expensive 2nd-gen going for $213,000 on Bring a Trailer back in 2021. That one also had a Coyote, by the way.
If you know anything about old trucks, this might strike you as an odd shift in the market. In 1978, Ford replaced the iconic Bronco with a full-sized model based on the F-series of the time. Specifically, it was a short F-100 chassis to compete with the Chevy Blazer. This formula was kept, with minor changes, until 1996, but the big SUVs were never as valuable as the Jeep-sized originals.
This particular example is from a famous classic car dealership in Michigan. Vanguard Motors is so famous that Joe Rogan even recommended it to some of his friends. In any case, I remember the most expensive big Bronco that Vanguard sold back in 2021 was less than $100,000.
Everybody wants a Coyote Bronco
Maybe the new Bronco Raptor got people excited about classics and there’s something nostalgic about these later models. Also, you can probably do more extreme mods on this 1979 Bronco because it’s big. That seems to be the case when you look under the hood because this now packs a Coyote 5.0-liter V8. No further details were specified, but that to me looks like a Gen 1, so a 2011-2014 V8 which is pretty common in restomods and still produces around 420 horsepower with a pleasant exhaust tone to match.
This modern engine has been paired up with many more restomod goodies which include a Wizard aluminum radiator with dual electric fans, a 6R80 6-speed automatic gearbox, and an electronically controlled BorgWarner 4×4 transfer case. The front is a Dana 44 and the rear is a 9-inch with 3.50 gears.
This supercar of Bronco 4x4s looks way too nice to get dirty. The suspension is all powder-coated in black, and American Racing 17-inch aluminum Mag wheels take advantage of the 4-inch lift. While this vehicle preserves the feel of the era, it’s also been upgraded with modern air conditioning, power disc brakes, and power steering.
But the paint is basically the coolest “component” of them all. It’s an immaculate all-black with some restomod touches to the trim and Freewheeling reflective sunset graphics added on top of the clear coat. Even the top has been re-textured and finished to look nicer than anything Ford made at the time.